“So, you wanna join the team eh?” Jacintha Wadcock narrowed her eyes as she asked. Her navy blue robes, emblazoned with two crossed golden bulrushes, was all the new recruits were staring at.
“You are not getting yourselves these robes if all you can do is stare,” she added. Immediately the group of fresh graduates closed their opened mouths and tore their eyes away from the blue robes to her face.
“Ah, finally some respect!”
Murmurs of apologies filled the Quidditch field immediately. Oh, how much she dreaded running the tryouts as millions of hopeless candidates think they are good enough. Thankfully, it was almost the end. These 14 candidates standing in front of her were all that was left, possibly worthy of making the reserve team.
“What we are going to do today is a friendly match. You have each been given a cloth, all reds in one team, all yellows in the other. We will be looking out for the player that has skill and good teamwork. You can elect your own captain if necessary. The game will start in ten minutes,” Jacintha ended and headed to the stands, where a long table was set up and a few people were seated.
She watched as the newbies quickly got into their teams and discussed on their strategies. When they finally had the cloth around their wrists as they faced each other in the center of the field, Jacintha merely waved her hand, and the game began.
Just as they took off into the sky, a player caught her eye. He blocked off every quaffle, that attempted a goal through the three posts, swiftly. He was well balanced on his broom, and there was something in his eyes that told her he was serious. The score was now 20-0, 20 for the yellow team in which the boy was in. Sadly, all of them had the same standards and beating each other was already too difficult.
“Ugh, they are barely up to standards,” her fellow judge said as he reclined in his chair and shut his eyes.
“Call the game off Jacintha, these kids are not ready,” another judge, who was older and with more authority, said as she got up and left.
With a wave of her wand, Jacintha ended the match. The confused faces of the new kids made her feel pity for them, but Puddlemore United deserved the best, and these bunch weren’t the best.
“Look, you kids aren’t ready. I would suggest you try again next year,” Jacintha said as she addressed the 14 close-to-tears faces.
But before she could leave, a wave of pleading and begging came from the group as they were hoping for a second chance.
“You got your chance and you blew it. Come back next year when you’re ready.” Jacintha burst their last hope as she hurried off the field. Slightly relieved that she didn’t have to see those bunch of wannabes any longer, she was disappointed when one called after her.
“Ms. Wadcock! Ms. Wadcock! Can I have a word with you?”
“Ugh, what?” Turning around, she found herself looking at the young boy who played keeper earlier.
“You have to give me a second chance!” the boy pleaded.
“Like I said, you had your chance, and you blew it.”
“I’m versatile, I can play any role, and I would not give up until I make the team!”
Jacintha merely laughed. This boy was living in a fantasy. “And you have seven years of Quidditch experience, am I right?”
“So does everyone who applies. But it’s sad to say, those seven years are useless when you’re playing in school.”
“I can get a recommendation from Ludo Bagman!”
“Go ask the Wimbourne Wasps to take you into their team then. Look boy-“
“Challenge me! You’re a chaser, and if you can score five out of ten goals while I’m keeping, I’ll be on my way.”
The boy caught her by surprise. He was challenging the daughter of the great Jocelind Wadcock. Did he know what he was doing?
“Fine.” Jacintha smiled. And the moment she did, she knew he started to break sweat.
The boy was stationed at the goal posts while Jacintha swerved around the field with a quaffle in hand. She had 10 goals and she knew she could beat him flat out. As she shot straight towards the goal, she sent the quaffle into the air and gave it a whack with the back of her broom. Too quick, the quaffle flew through a post.
“One nil.” Jacintha smirked.
Three more goals and the boy was panicking. She could see him nervously clutching his broom as he eyed her like an eagle eyeing its prey. This last goal would end the challenged, and as she confidently threw the quaffle at the post, the boy blocked a score.
He smiled nervously as he said, “Four to one.”
Four more attempts and he blocked all her quaffles. Now she was breaking sweat. How could she lose to a newbie?
Finally, it came down to the last quaffle. And when she gave her last shot, the boy missed, so narrowly that she could have sworn he might have just caught it.
“I won!” she screamed immediately at the sight of her victory, more so at the relieve of not losing to the newcomer.
The boy heaved a sigh as he gave a weak smile. “It was a good game.”
As they finally dismounted their brooms, Jacintha patted him on the back and said, “Try again next year.”
“Why next year? This boy was brilliant!” a familiar voice spoke from behind them.
“Mother?” Jacintha choked.
“What’s you name boy?” Jocelind Wadcock asked.
“Wood, Oliver Wood.” The boy couldnt help but smile like a Cheshire cat.
“Well Oliver, we could really use you on our reserve team, do you care to join us?”
“Yes!” the boy shouted enthusiastically as he shook her mother’s hand vigorously. And then turning to her, he simply said, “We’re teammates now. Isn’t that something!”
(Best Seller Teen requested a story on Oliver Wood. This was the best I could come up with:))